COMMUNIST PARTY OF INDIA (MAOIST)
2 October 2016
Demand a stop to the war-mongering, chauvinism and aggression by the expansionist Hindu-fascist Modi regime against Pakistan!
Oppose state terror against the Kashmiri people!
Support the just struggle of the Kashmiri nation for Azadi!
The pre-dawn attack of 18 September on an Indian Army base at Uri in Jammu and Kashmir left 17 army jawans dead and at least 20 injured, two of whom died later. This is the single biggest loss suffered by the Indian Army in Kashmir in the recent years. Following this, a relentless anti-Pakistan jingoistic chorus was drummed-up by all ruling-class parties led by the Hindutva fascist BJP/Sangh Parivar as an expression of virulent Indian expansionism. Opposition parties vied with one another to look more ‘nationalist’ than the rest in making anti-Pakistan statements and demanding ‘decisive action’. Allegations against Modi government for its purported failure to take “tough action” and “teach Pakistan a lesson” from the opposition and the corporate media came thick and fast. Modi government and the RSS, however, needed no prompting to unleash a barrage of tirade targeting Pakistan in the wake of the Uri attack, terming it a “sponsor of terrorism”, “a terrorist state”, “epicentre of global terrorism” and what not.
Amidst the growing cacophony of big-nation chauvinism by the Indian ruling classes and a similar jingoistic response by the rulers of Pakistan, an Indian Army spokesperson (DGMO, J&K) declared in a press conference in New Delhi that the Army successfully carried out “surgical strike” across the Line of Control (LoC) on 28 September. It claimed to have destroyed “terror infrastructure” such as “terrorist launch-pads” and gunned down several “terrorists”. Only a few days before this, the army had made the questionable claim of shooting down around ten ‘terrorists’ who were allegedly trying to cross the LoC, but could furnished no evidence to back up its claim. In case of the so-called ‘surgical strike’ too, serious questions have been raised about the veracity of the claim from various quarters domestically and internationally. Journalists who have visited the LoC on PoK side and talked to the local residents could not find any evidence of any ‘surgical strike’ by the Indian armed forces. The pressure on the Indian government is now growing to furnish credible evidence of it – a demand it has stubbornly refused so far.
Indeed, the manner in which the government went about advertising the ‘surgical strike’ and later stonewalled the call for concrete evidence provide enough grounds to question the claim. This ‘surgical strike’ has much similarity with the modus-operandi of the Modi government after the Indian Army suffered a large number of casualties in an attack SS Khaplang-led NSCN in Manipur last year. Then too, it publicly claimed that the Army had carried out a strike inside Myanmar in ‘hot pursuit’ of Naga guerrillas and killed several of them, a claim which remains unsubstantiated and was firmly rebutted by that organisation and the Myanmar government. The recent claim of ‘surgical strike’ too appears to be motivated more by political reasons than military requirements. It is mainly aimed at assuaging the domestic Hindutva constituency of BJP/Sangh Parivar and put the opposition parties on the defensive. But the very act of making such claims amply demonstrates that while remaining extremely touchy about the “unity and integrity” of “Bharat Mata”, Modi government has no compunctions in violating the sovereignty and territorial integrity of other countries and nations including our neighbours, if it is in the interest of the ruling classes and their imperialist masters, particularly US imperialism. In fact, aggression and military intervention against our neighbours has always been the policy of the expansionist Indian rulers and remains an integral part of the Brahmanical Hindu fascist agenda of establishing an integrated ‘Hindu Rashtra’ in South Asia. BJP spokespersons have announced in the past that the party is committed to establish ‘Akhand Bharat’ through peaceful means. It is this expansionist policy of the Indian ruling classes that is responsible for pushing the country into the brink of the present crisis.
But even if the question whether or not the ‘surgical strike’ actually took place is set aside, it can be said with some certainly that the decision to make this claim publicly was taken by Modi government with the objective of salvaging its tattered image after the bankruptcy of its Kashmir policy got thoroughly exposed domestically and internationally. Unable to respond to the ongoing historic and unprecedented mass upsurge of Kashmir in any other way than by military force (which has taken the lives of nearly a hundred Kashmiris and injured more than 20,000 so far), Modi government desperately needed a pretext to divert the world’s attention from the atrocities committed by the Indian occupation forces in Kashmir. The government wanted to change its image of the perpetrator of state terrorism in Kashmir to a victim of “state-sponsored cross-border terrorism”. It has found such a pretext In the Uri attack,.
On the other hand, it was looking for an opportunity to channelise the growing discontent of the masses of the country harmlessly towards a foreign ‘enemy’. The Sangh Parvar and BJP have been working in a planned manner since the last parliamentary elections to win over the Backward Castes and the Dalits to its side in order to consolidate its social base and to minimise the resistance to its reactionary anti-people steps. Using the state machinery, Modi-led BJP has introduced several programmes for workers, peasants, BCs, Dalits, Adivasis, women and the poorest of the poor with much fanfare. But ‘Modinomics’ has utterly failed to assuage the growing social crises and the resulting discontent. It has completely failed to bring any ‘acche din’ to the vast majority of the country’s people. ‘Acche din’ has remained the privilege of only the imperialists and a miniscule minority of the populace – big capitalists, big landlords, ruling-class politicians, top bureaucrats and government functionaries, etc. During more than two years of rule, Modi government has proved its utter inability to resolve any of the burning economic, political and social issues of the masses and to address their discontent. This discontent is getting expressed through various mass movements by workers, peasants, BCs, Dalits, Adivasis, students, employees, religious minorities and oppressed nationalities, etc., among which the present upsurge in Kashmir is the most militant and extensive one.
Another factor behind the aggressive posturing of the Modi government towards Pakistan is the upcoming assembly elections. Most important for BJP is the UP elections, followed by states like Punjab and Gujarat where the fate of its governments/alliance-governments are at stake. The stakes have become even higher after its abject failure in the recently concluded assembly elections in Bengal, Keralam, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry (it could achieve a consolation win only in Asom mainly due to the 15 years of Congress misrule). BJP/Sangh Parivar is therefore desperately drumming up anti-Pakistan pseudo-nationalist rhetoric to serve its own vested interests before the elections.
Modi government has thus used the Uri attack mainly to serve these objectives. Its response to Uri attack along with its diplomatic efforts to ‘isolate’ Pakistan internationally is in conformity with the same integrated policy of the Indian ruling classes – national oppression towards Kashmir and expansionism towards the neighbouring countries. Though this policy has been pursued by each and every government since 1947, it has found a more vicious, cruel and brazen expression during the present NDA government at the hands of Brahmanical Hindu fascist BJP. Not surprisingly, all the parliamentary parties including the revisionist CPI(M) and CPI are speaking in a voice similar to BJP and are standing behind the communal fascist Modi-Amit Shah-Mohan Bhagavat-Rajnath-Parikkar gang, as they all represent the same Indian ruling-class interests.
Not remaining content with the claim of ‘surgical strike’, Modi government has followed it up with a virulent chorus of big nation-chauvinism and is trying to build up war hysteria in the country. It has created an atmosphere of war by deploying additional army and paramilitary forces at the border, beginning cross-border firing and bombardment, ordering the residents of the international border to vacate their homes, issuing ‘high alert’ in the bordering states and acting on dubious claims of the ‘sighting’ of ‘terrorists’ in Mumbai, etc. It has scuttled the SAARC summit by putting pressure on a number of South Asian countries, threatened to downgrade the economic and diplomatic ties and to abrogate the long-standing water-sharing treaty with Pakistan, and are taking similar other steps. At the same time, Modi government has intensified diplomatic efforts to gain international support for its occupation and repression in Kashmir, for its aggression towards Pakistan in the name of ‘global war on terror’ and for ‘isolating’ it internationally by primarily lobbying with the US government.
The Pakistani government led by Nawaz Sharif, on the other hand, has stepped up its anti-India rhetoric and jingoism mainly as a response to the prevailing domestic situation in that country. The Pakistani ruling classes are facing mass anger due to the deepening economic-political crises and intensifying social contradictions in the country. The pro-imperialist economic and strategic policies pursued by Nawaz Sharif government, the ongoing military operations against national minorities and Islamic forces, its reluctance in supporting the Kashmir liberation movement in the past, etc., are resulting in serious unrest among the masses of Pakistan. In this backdrop, the main ruling-class parties of the country which hardly come together on any issue, have got united to give India a “fitting reply” and are urging the masses to unite behind the government. Pakistan has also heightened its military preparedness and is using national-chauvinist language to build up a war atmosphere.
While Pakistani rulers are highlighting the Kashmir issue, pledging all support to it and are raising India’s oppressive role in international platforms, the Indian rulers, in a bid to outdo their opponent, have started to raise the issue of Balochistan’s national liberation movement. Ruling classes of each country are claiming their support for the national liberation movements of the opponent, while at the same time subjugating the oppressed nationalities and crushing the just national liberation movements within their own boundaries. This clearly shows the opportunism and bankruptcy of the ruling classes of both the countries. They are raising the issue of national oppression and right to self-determination of oppressed nationalities only to serve their own class interests and of the imperialist powers and not out of true solidarity with the struggling nations and peoples. The ruling classes of Pakistan or India are not, and can never be, the genuine, trusted and reliable allies of the people of Kashmir or Balochistan in their fight for national liberation.
At the root of this stand-off between the ruling classes of India and Pakistan over Kashmir lies the clash of their economic and strategic interests. As compradors to imperialism, they also represent the interests of different imperialist powers backing them. The US, Britain and EU have much at stake economically and militarily in both the South Asian countries. India is an extremely important market for US imperialism particularly at a time when it is reeling under a severe economic and financial crisis. So is the necessity to open up the Indian economy further for unrestrained neo-colonial plunder and exploitation by strengthening its stranglehold over India. Moreover, it considers India as an important outpost to contain the growing influence of its rivals Russia and China in Asia and China in Asia-Pacific region, particularly when Pakistan’s economic-diplomatic-military ties with China and Russia is deepening.
In the context of the growing worldwide imperialist contention between the US and its allies on the one hand and Russia, China and Iran on the other (manifesting most glaringly at present in the contention for Syria and Ukraine), the US wants India to be firmly on its side. Russia’s close relations with some former Soviet republics of Central Asia and China’s growing economic ties with them is another cause of concern for the US. The Indian government is also an important US ally in its ‘global war on terror’. The US and its imperialist allies are therefore encouraging and utilising the big-power ambition of the Indian ruling classes and satisfying it to a limited extent to ensure closer integration of the Indian economy with the imperialist world market.
At the same time, however, the US also wants Pakistan to be with it for defending its economic and strategic interests in South, Central and West Asia, for its Afghan War and to counter Russia and China. Hence, it is not likely that the US and its allies will concede to Indian government’s demand of isolating Pakistan internationally and stopping the economic, diplomatic and military ‘aid/assistance’ to it. Indian government’s efforts to isolate Pakistan internationally to make it yield and compel it to stop supporting the Kashmir movement will not work. The strategic support of the imperialist powers to their Indian and Pakistan compradors will remain relatively unaltered in the short term, though the extent and level of this support may undergo some tactical shifts according to the changes in the international politics and balance of forces. Since behind the clash of interests between the comprador rulers of the two countries lie the contention between the imperialist powers, the tension and mutual acrimony between the two countries will continue and may even intensify with the intensification of the fundamental contradictions of the world.
Given this context, it is quite clear that till the time the Indian ruling classes persist in suppressing the birthright of the Kashmiri people, continue their communal fascist policies towards the Muslims and maintain their interference in the internal affairs of the South Asian countries, particularly Pakistan, it is not possible for them to stop attacks like Uri. Nor is it possible for the Pakistani ruling classes to stop the oppressed peoples and nations from carrying out militant resistance against subjugation and oppression. As long as the comprador ruling classes of the two countries continue to yield to the strategic and economic interests of imperialism, they will never be able to restrain the people from rebellion, armed or unarmed.
The CC, CPI(Maoist) appeals to the people of India to see through the national-chauvinist machinations of the Indian ruling classes being articulated through the Modi government and the parliamentary parties against Pakistan. The people of India and Pakistan have nothing to gain from a military escalation or war between the two countries, but have much to lose due to it. The huge financial burden of large-scale military mobilization at the border will have to be borne by the people of the two countries depending on the intensity and extent of this deployment. We therefore call upon the people to oppose any kind of expansionist intervention by the Indian government against PoK and Pakistan, be it through ‘surgical strikes’, military aggression and economic or diplomatic means. The CC reiterates its unequivocal support to the Kashmiri people’s right to self-determination including secession from India and urges the people of India to resolutely defend this right of the fighting Kashmiri people. Let us declare to the people of Kashmir, “You are not alone!” Oppose the Indian occupation of Kashmir and continued state terrorism by the Indian armed forces! Support the struggle of the Kashmiri nation for Azadi! Demand a stop to the war-mongering, chauvinism and aggression against Pakistan by the Indian government led by the Hindutva fascists to further Indian expansionism! Demand a stop to the threats and intimidation of Pakistani artists and citizens in India! ‘No’ to any type of war with Pakistan!